Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) issues its first water disclosure questionnaire to world's largest companies
CDP, an independent not-for-profit organisation, has emerged as the premier global scorekeeper on carbon emissions gathering primary corporate climate change information from thousands of businesses around the world so that it can be incorporated into business and policy decision making. With the launch of CDP Water Disclosure last November, the organisation is using the same established system in order to tackle the increasingly vital issue of water scarcity.
Paul Simpson, chief operating officer at CDP said: “CDP has long been a key system through which investors and businesses can evaluate companies’ ability to tackle climate change. Much of the impact of climate change will be felt through water and as we face increasingly scarce water resources, we can now provide the same system to highlight companies’ ability to operate in a water-constrained world.”
137 financial institutions globally with a combined $16 trillion in assets, including Allianz Group, CalSTRS, HSBC, ING, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and National Australia Bank, have signed the request for information, asking companies to measure and disclose information on their water usage, the risks and opportunities in their own operations and supply chains, as well as water management and improvement plans. The questionnaire results will be made available to investors that have requested disclosure and summarised in an annual report, the first of which will be produced in the last quarter of 2010.
Companies within the Global 500 that have been asked to report this year are in water-intensive sectors such as Automotive, Construction, Electric Utilities, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs), Food and Beverage, Mining, Oil and Gas, and Pharmaceuticals.
One of the reporting companies is global brewer Molson Coors, who today announced that it has also become a lead sponsor of CDP Water Disclosure. Bart Alexander, vice president global corporate responsibility for Molson Coors, said: “Molson Coors has long been committed to conservation and sustainable use in the local watersheds we share. We know that corporations play a critical role in leading the transition to a new era in which water quality is respected and water management practices improve – a conviction that was reinforced by a recent global survey we sponsored. We are very pleased to help promote the launch of the new CDP Water Disclosure project. This effort will go a long way toward providing a common framework for companies to assess and report on their water usage and water-related risk moving forward.”
In addition, Ford, L’Oréal, PepsiCo and Reed Elsevier have already committed to report to CDP Water Disclosure in 2010 as founding responders to the program. Companies that have not been asked to respond to this year’s questionnaire are still welcome to report to CDP Water Disclosure.
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), a lead sponsor of the programme, said: “Water is a key investment issue because it is fundamental to many businesses, and is threatened in many areas of the world. By asking the right questions we aim to establish a common framework for assessing water-related risk, as well as drive more sustainable use of water, which is important for our long term investments.”
According to a recent McKinsey report Charting our Water Future, competing demands for scarce water resources may lead to an estimated 40 percent supply shortage by 2030. Water scarcity is an increasing business risk, with companies facing rising costs and potential supply disruption, such as to their agricultural and manufacturing processes, yet it is an issue on which companies and investors need far greater information, awareness and understanding.
«In Russia we are at the beginning of the way - CDP questionnaire for Russian companies include only carbon emissions from their activities, - says Lada Progunova, head of WWF programme on sustainable development. - We hope that in the nearest future Russian companies will be ready to respond to a questionnaire on water management as well».
The Carbon Disclosure Project, founded in 2000, represents some 475 global institutional investors, with more than US $55 trillion in assets under management. As an independent not-for-profit organization, CDP collects key climate change data from some 2,500 major corporations around the globe and has assembled the largest corporate greenhouse gas emissions database in the world. CDP also works with multinational organizations to facilitate the collection of climate change relevant data for their supply chain